By recommendation of two local friends last week I visited a charming teahouse and shop called Caj Chai in the Barri Gotic in Barcelona. It is located in Calle Sant Domènec del Call, a hidden spot perhaps if you are just wandering around.
It is a nice place with an extensive selection of teas to try and discover. We ordered a cold matcha with soy milk and a Chinese Huang Zhi Xiang Dan Cong oolong; a very special oolong. It was the first time I tried a Dan Cong. I had read many things about it and it is fascinating. I also found two blogs with specific information about this tea that I recommend reading and that I will copy below. But, in a nutshell, one of the features that makes Dang Cong Oolongs so special is that they don’t come from tea gardens but from “wild trees” or independent bushes that are controlled according to the age of the tree and its fragrance among other many things, so its production requires lots of knowledge and expertise. My personal experience with the Huang Zhi Xiang was exquisite. It was very fresh and flowery but also with a sort of rough taste and roasted notes. This one was Orange flower (Azahar) and it was absolutely beautiful in taste, texture and aroma.
The store also specialises in teaware. From single gaiwans to Japanese and Chinese teapots, cups and bowls you can find sets and individual pieces, some of them handmade by Petr Novak, an amazing potter from Czech Republic. The gaiwain in which my oolong was served was made of clay and it was accompanied of a thermal jug on the side with hot water for me to pour it. I appreciated the fact that the tea was served in an appropriate teaware according to the type of tea, something that makes the whole experience even more special.
The staff is also friendly and helpful, willing to provide more information about the teas. They also offer tasting events on a regular basis that are open to the public.
We sat at the end of the store and spent a lovely afternoon sipping tea and enjoying each other’s company. I am willing to come back soon and take some teas with me.
Caj Chai is a must for tea lovers and enthusiasts or for anyone open to spend an afternoon drinking high-end teas from around the world in the heart of Barcelona’s historic city centre.
If you would like to read more about Dang Congs, here are the two blogs I mentioned above: